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他雇了20来个当地人为他带路和搬运行李。这批当地人个个都表现出色,尽管他们背着重重的行李,但他们的脚力过人,健步如飞。

This is from the Standard Course Book of HSK5, segment 26. What is the meaning of 脚力过人?

Baidu translate: Despite carrying heavy luggage, their feet were strong and they walked briskly.

Google translate: Although they were carrying heavy luggage, they were very strong on their feet and walked quickly.

My opinion: 但(still)他们的(their)脚力(legs' strength)过人(passed people = passed the strength of the legs of other people).

What is your opinion? Am I on the right direction?

4 Answers 4

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过人 is a positive word meaning 超过常人,非同一般 (surpassed the average person in some aspect, extraordinary). Today we usually use it in the idiom 过人之处 (处 = place, aspect, hence "the aspect in which one surpasses the average person").

脚力 is literally the strength of feet. When you are carrying heavy luggage, the weight is ultimately supported by your feet, so it requires your feet to be strengthful (or so thought the ancient people). Hence 脚力过人 is "the ability to walk while carrying heavy weight surpasses the average person."

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过 is 超过, it means exceed/beyond / more than / better than

脚力 means strength of one's legs (also means the ability of walking) 过人 means better than average people

So 脚力过人 means they are very good at walking, their legs/feet are full of strength, this ability is beyond the level of average people.

Simply saying "their feet are strong" has a similar meaning. But here the point is 过人,I think "their feet are stronger than average people" is much better.

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脚力过人 = 脚力(超)过(常)人 = legs strength (superior to) (average) people

过人 (superior to average people = extraordinary) is a common adjective for a personal attribute in Chinese. And "过人" is a fixed compound word in Chinese, accompanied by some kind of attribute of human-being, for indicating somebody is extraordinary on that kind of attribute.

Example: 才智过人,胆色过人,反应过人 (Extraordinary intelligence, extraordinary courage, and extraordinary reflexes)

但他们的脚力过人 = but their extraordinary legs strength

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Not sure about "passed people"!

As user2249675 says: 过人 here means 超过常人,非同一般, so we might translate: almost super-human.

他雇了20来个当地人为他带路和搬运行李。
He hired 20 locals as guides and porters.

这批当地人个个都表现出色,
These locals all displayed remarkable skill,
尽管他们背着重重的行李,
such that, despite carrying heavy loads of luggage on their backs,
但他们的脚力过人,健步如飞。
the power in their legs was almost super-human, so fleet of foot were they.

Mountain people develop strong legs!

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